By Ollie Richardson
The mouth of leading Pentagon clown Ash Carter has been once again writing cheques that he can’t cash, this time claiming that the US is on the brink of entering Raqqa. According to CNN, the plan “has us generating those forces in a matter of weeks … generating them and positioning them for the isolation of Raqqa.”
However, Ash is forgetting one thing – on November 8th US elections will take place, and as a result, he may not even be the Secretary of Defence anymore! And also, by the time the battle of Mosul is complete, he won’t even have time to dust off his suitcase. In saying this, Ash is “apparently” committing to actually fighting the very thing that gives the US a pretext to be in Sy-raq in the first place – ISIS! Without a (falsified) pretext, much like both World Wars, the US will be pushed out so far west that they’ll have no choice but to pivot to China.
The current number of US “advisors” in northern Syria are sub 500 – is that enough of a ground force to storm Raqqa? Does the US have the means to offer the Kurds (and indirectly the Syrian Army) air support for such a large battle? Can the American media space correctly assemble both the Mosul and Raqqa narratives without crossing their wires? The answer to all these questions is “no”. For channels like CNN, the battle of Mosul is simple – ISIS are the bad guys, and our ‘Murikan “heroes” are helping the Iraqis (who were the target of US bombs a decade ago) eliminate them. This narrative comes with a dashing of sectarianism courtesy of sub-zoology rags like the Wall Street Journal, who seem to forget that both Sunnis and Shias fight in the Iraqi army.
For now, Iraqi Prime Minister Abadi favours US over Iran in terms of influence of the region, but in Syria it is a different matter. As things stand, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad will not commit a single soldier to the operation to liberate Raqqa, and for good reason too. Neighbouring regions like Deir Ezzor and Aleppo must be secured first before Raqqa is even an option. Thus, the battle of Mosul, which will likely take another month or two at least, for the US is a primary focus. Whilst its nice to finally rid Iraq of ISIS, the threat of the fleeing takfiris crossing the border has the Pentagon cheering at their desks. No chances are being taken, however, with both Iraqi and 4+1 forces patrolling either side of the border.
A more likely scenario is the US and Russia joint liberating Raqqa to kickstart the new multipolar era. But this, of course, requires a certain Donald Trump in the President’s chair, as Mrs Clinton will try everything she can to smash Syria up some more in the aim of partition. While partition at the present juncture is quite likely to happen (Assad/Russia have no foothold in Northern Syria; Turkey was Russia’s “ace up the sleeve”, and Erdogan himself will want some of the cake), Clinton’s influence on the process will ensure a demarcation line through the centre of Damascus.
All in all, the liberation of Raqqa requires Russia-US cooperation – something that is totally absent under the Obama administration. There has been and will continue to be no effort to separate the “moderate” opposition from the Jihadists, and if anything the US is trying to tangle Russia up in so many wires that there is somehow a repeat of the Yeltsin era back home.
Enter Admiral Kuznetsov – Putin’s insurance against any more funny moves, whether it be bombing a UN aid convoy or bombing the Syrian Army. A no-fly zone (Kuznetsov) within a no fly zone (S-400)? Ash Carter knows very well approaching Raqqa from the North with a handful of men is a disaster waiting to happen. But the US is used to so many disasters by now that perhaps one more won’t hurt? In the end, Americans will see Carter’s words about Raqqa and have a G.I. Joe self-simulation session. Much like how ISIS refused to admit that they lost Palmyra (and in fact their propaganda Dabiq magazine maintained that ISIS still held Palmyra), inhabitants of the US will probably think that they liberated both Raqqa and Mosul… on the same day… at the same hour… Perhaps the MSM can arrange some “convincing” footage too…
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